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, will continue to update you on this developing story throughout the newscast. >> pope benedict xvi will celebrate ash wednesday mass at the vatican tomorrow. it will be his last public appearance before the pontiff steps down at the end of the month. danielle nottingham reports for wjz have the vatican. >> reporter: the crowds in st. peter's square are speculating about who will replace pope benedict xvi. some feel the time has come for more diversity in the catholic church. >> i think it will be good to have a black pope. >> i'm from venezuela. and we hope to get a pope from another country. >> i don't think it matters where they are from, as long as they're open thelogically to opening many -- welcoming as many people into the church as possible. >> reporter: cardinal could be the first black pope. cardinal armelino. and scolia one of the strongest european candidates. pope benedict is stepping down because the 85-year-old said he no longer has the physical or mental strength to lead. >> reporter: the vatican just disclosed that pope benedict
>>> stunning announcement, pope benedict xvi steps down. >> why he says the time is right. >>> i'm kai jackson. >> i'm mary bubala. here's what people are talking about. >>> catholics are stun ned by the pope's resignation. now the question is, who will replace pope benedict xvi. a report from the vatican. >> pope benedict xvi stunned the vatican saying he no longer has the strength to do the job. the 85-year-old says he will step down at the end of the month becoming the first pope to resign in 600 years. church leaders express their sadness. >> it's like watching your own dad get old and admit that he's not up to all the duties that being the head of the family involves. >> the news quickly spread through saint peters square. >> i hope the next pope can be better than this one. >> pope benedict became head of the catholic church in 2005 succeeding pope john paul, ii. he talked the priest scandal. some say he didn't go far enough. >> he wasn't ever as popular as the other popes. there are a lot of question marks over the way he dealt with the sex scandal. >> this is a historic m
voting change and the allegations of inappropriate behavior. >> pope benedict xvi has revised the rule on how his successor will be chosen. they no longer have to wait 15 days to begin voting for a new holy father. after benedict steps down on thursday cardinals can decide to move up the ceremony. >> i think we should get it to as soon as possible. >> i'm surprise d. >> they would like a new pope before easter week, march 24th. keith o'brien will be noticeably absent. he resigned amid allegations he behaved inappropriately with other priests 30 years ago. o'brien denies the acquisitions and says he does not want the allegations to be a distraction. >> the fact that it has been accepted by pope benedict i think is significant. not of guilt, but certainly that we want an investigation to begin. >> some tourists say the new allegations are another blemish for the church. >> it's sad. very sad. >> i think it's a shame they have to experience that. >> pope benedict also met monday with the elderly cardinals who conducted a probe into the leak of vatican documents. the out going pope has de
appearance, overlooking saint peter's square, benedict asked pilgrims to pay for the next pope. the retired pope creates a host of problems that will require creative solutions. benedict will eventually live inside vatican city. that will allow him to stay out of the public eye and ensure security. because it is sovereign territory, it will also make it impossible for lawyers to sue him for the sex abuse scandal, which some have already tried to do. when the pope dies, normally, his writings are put in the secret archives. but benedict plans to keep writing so his notes will likely be handed over to him. the issue has been titled bishop emertus of rome, for which he'll be paid a salary of just over $3,000 a month. there is still no firm decision on whether church law can be altered to choose a successor prior to 15 days after the pope leaves office. prior to the conclave, they speak their minds. greg burke has more. >> some of the cardinals are known. but a lot are not. so it's interesting. they get together a few times every year. but it'
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